Made in Britain: The positive impact on our economy and to our environment

Written by Harry Fleet, 23 August

As a small start-up business, we have invested time and money to ensure that manufacturing in Britain was a priority.

We set out to design, develop & champion innovative, high-quality, ergonomic products for people with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions, making everyday challenges that little bit easier.

We've spent huge amounts of time speaking to those that use and require solutions or 'mobility aids' that they need to help them through everyday challenges. The problem is loud and clear. There are so many products currently on the market that are ugly and medical-looking or not fit for purpose. Our research identified that these people are underserved, they are not getting the solutions they deserve. Our approach is different. We design our solutions to higher standards, so that they are not only functional but stylish too. They are designed to blend into your modern home environment and make a real difference to how you feel about using them.

As a small start-up business, we have invested time and money to ensure that manufacturing in Britain was a priority. This not only guaranteed high quality, but it drastically reduces our carbon footprint and impact on the ever-looming climate crisis. Plus, it is also hugely beneficial for our economy.

Being in close proximity to our manufacturers means that during our product development process we can resolve any issues that arrive, and assess the quality of the materials and production processes. Easy access by our product team is not only convenient, it further reduces the need to fly halfway around the world to visit the production lines! If we look at our own development cycle, this has reduced at least three return flights' worth of emissions…

As an additional short-term benefit, we avoid any import delays at ports due to increased pressures from Covid protocols and post-Brexit paperwork for EU goods arriving into the country. Not something that everyone can say in the industry at the moment.

With such a keen focus on quality production, there was certainly a reason to focus on sourcing from a pool of brilliant British manufacturing partners that are available to us here in England. Due to the great output we have seen by manufacturing in Britain we've been able to expand our product portfolio and grow our business to help more people with more great solutions. Not to mention we’ve been able to do this all during the covid outbreak.

As responsible designers and manufacturers, it is important for us that our activities also contribute positively to the local community around us. And this is something we take pride in at Arthr.

There are many reasons why it's important to manufacture in Britain where we can, but there are two major factors driving our decision making:

  1. Carbon footprint reduction
  2. Investment in the UK economy

One of the first products from our range, the Arthr Toilet Riser, is manufactured in the midlands

Discover the Toilet Riser

Arthr Toilet Riser

A report by Oxford Economics* published in April 2018 reveals some fascinating statistics about the economic impact of UK manufacturing which contributes to:

  • 8% of UK employment (2.6 million jobs)
  • 9% of UK GDP (£177 billion)

The effect of UK manufacturing on the wider economy is far greater than many realise. For every £1 million contributed to UK GDP by manufacturing, an additional £1.5 million is supported in jobs and contributions to the GDP elsewhere in the economy. And, for each job in manufacturing a further 1.8 are supported in other areas of the UK economy.**

Not only are there direct benefits to GDP and employment, but there's an indirect impact associated with supply chains in the form of 5 million jobs (15% UK employment). Further benefits to the UK economy can be seen by the impact when direct and indirect employees spend their wages.

At Arthr, we've developed an ecosystem of partners including logistics, manufacturers and designers. The variety of manufacturers help us produce the flagship products in our bathroom range including the Arthr Bath Step, Toilet Assist, Toilet Riser, our innovative Car Door Mate and our range of Arthr pillows.


At Arthr we are on a mission to improve everyday living for people with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions by designing, developing & championing innovative, high-quality ergonomic products. But on the way we want to be as considered as possible when it comes to the benefits to our economy and our climate, and that's why we choose to be made in Britain.

Supporting our local economy and protecting our climate does come at a cost. Producing products with high-quality materials, in our home territory certainly isn’t as cheap as exploiting labour in third world countries, and we need to come to terms with that. There is a reason why sustainable and ethically produced goods are available at a higher cost.

After many years of utilising manufacturing processes that are cheaper, but not as healthy for our planet, we need to re-habituate ourselves to these costs of making a valuable difference. Sourcing from British manufacturers has significantly contributed towards reducing our carbon footprint as opposed to manufacturing overseas. We’ve hit a climate crisis and it is down to these decisions to push the cost of goods as low as possible without any consideration for the impacts that this is having on our environment. We are doing what we can to make a difference, and will do everything in our power to reduce the impact of those costs onto the consumer.

We hope to continue to receive support from our consumer base with our approach to manufacturing in Britain, as we continue to help people live better lives.

References:

*https://www.oxfordeconomics.co...

**https://www.madeinbritain.org/...

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